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   Appropriately rendering the generated 3D snow surface is outside of our area of interest. However, we have to do something, so we map snow surfaces to a shader that approximates some of the coloration, surface bumpiness and translucence of real snow. Since snow models can be exported in most major 3D formats, the animators can fine-tune the surface polygons and the material "look" as required. 
Closeup of a snowman. Note the slight transparency at the base of the eye.
Click to enlarge.